Exclusive eats, Taiwanese street delicacies, artisan stores, and more!
The crowd and downpour on Friday (Apr 19) did not dampen the spirits of thousands of visitors who thronged The Grounds@Kranji to get a taste of Shilin Singapore on its opening day. And we can see why. Sprawling across 200,000 square feet, the pop-up market inspired by the popular Shilin Night Market in Taipei features more than 300 Taiwanese and local artisanal and food and beverage retailers, and has something for everyone.
With a theme of “Eat, Shop, Play, Fun”, Shilin Singapore aims to provide an experiential, multisensory feast over two weekends, with an expected crowd of 300,000 - so consider yourself warned against the inevitable crush of people clamouring to get in!
The vendors will change over the weekends, so it’s a good idea to head down there while you can, because we can’t promise that your favourite stalls and brands will still be there next week.
Some names will be familiar, like Hot-Star and Gong Cha, but don’t scoff just yet - these brands have laboured to produce limited edition goodies that you’ll only find at Shilin Singapore. Keep your eyes peeled!
Of course, with the night market selling mostly artisanal products and hipster, Instagrammable food, prices will run a little higher than they should. On the bright side, all vendors accept payment in cash, cashless and contactless modes, so don’t sweat it if you don’t have enough cash and can’t find an ATM anywhere.
Now that we’ve got you excited, read on to find out what munchies, as well as quirky-but-fun activities caught our eye at the market.
Shilin Singapore will be held on 19-21 and 26-28 April, from 3-11pm, at The Grounds@Kranji, Carpark B at Singapore Turf Club.
Hot-Star’s new mala chicken cutlet
Mala is the flavour of the moment so why aren't we surprised that Hot-Star has launched a mala chicken cutlet for the pop-up market. You can't tell from the lack of red chilli powder seasoning in the photo but the cutlet is fiery. Challenge your taste buds and see if you can tahan the heat.
Get your mind out of the gutter with Han Tai Run’s sausage-in-a-sausage: what it is is a grilled sausage stuffed into another sausage, complete with pickles, cucumbers and garnish. You have to taste it to believe it!
Taipei Elephant Mountain’s Ai-yu jelly
Basically ice jelly but cooler - try the winter melon lemon tea (can you say that three times fast?!), filled with generous amounts of all-natural ai-yu jelly, and topped with sliced lemon and peel for extra zest.
Miss Tam Chiak’s peanut ice cream rolls
In this heat, it’s a good idea to chiak liang and cool down a little with traditional peanut ice cream rolls from Taiwan, served up by local foodie influencer Miss Tam Chiak. There are four ice cream flavours to choose from, with durian and bubble tea considered to be "die die must try".
That Frog Egg drink
This one had us drinking “chia seeds” before they became a health craze - as one of the most popular drinks in Taiwan’s night markets, it gets its name due to the tapioca pearls used in the ice jelly drink. When the pearls are cooled, they become white in the middle and resemble frog eggs. Don’t be put off by the name, give it a try!
Chia Te’s famous pineapple tarts
Now you can try for yourself and see if these famous tarts are worth the hype! Crumbly but tart (ha!), and not overly sweet, these pineapple tarts make for a wonderfully sweet treat.
Yin He’s mango sago milk
A creamy mix of fresh milk and mango juice, with generous toppings of mango chunks and mango pops for an extra burst of flavour. This is every mango lover’s dream.
Exclusive offerings from Chun Cui He
Remember when the whole nation collectively lost its mind over Chun Cui He’s milk teas? They have rolled out two flavours - Arabica Roast Latte and Qiuya 30% Less Sugar - specially for Shilin Singapore. Available at $2.80 each or two for $5.
Sunmai Bar's craft beer
If bubble tea isn’t quite your poison of choice, slake your thirst with Sunmai Bar’s series of craft beers. Created by one of the biggest craft beer brands Le Ble D'or Group, Sunmai Bar is a proud Taiwanese microbrewery that’s working hard to establish itself in the industry.
Gong Cha’s Berry Biscotti and Bambu Boba bubble tea
Gong Cha’s Berry Biscotti and Bambu Boba bubble tea, which were created just for Shilin Singapore, were hot items at the market. We like the sweet and refreshing Berry Biscotti, a blend of strawberry milk and strawberry purée, topped with Oreo crumbs, while the Bambu Boba, made with sesame oolong tea and black-and-white pearls, is great for those who aren’t so in tune with their sweet tooth.
Not quite your cup of tea? You can also DIY your cuppa by customising everything from toppings to colours.
Kazo cream puffs
Taiwanese bakery Kazo’s cream puffs are so fluffy and delicious, it’s hard to stop at just one! And just for Shilin Singapore, they have created a traditional black tea that pairs wonderfully with the sweetness of the cream puffs.
Handmade bags and clutches
You can’t call yourself a proud Singaporean if you don’t engage in the nation’s favourite pastime: shopping! From cutesy accessories to interior design options and eco-friendly alternatives, there’s no shortage of things to squeal and obsess over.
Drop by Cocoonese and choose from a stunning array of handmade tote bags, pouches and wallets at the shop. Each one is lovingly hand-made by the owner, who will be more than happy to tell you more about the designs and fabrics used.
Handmade bags and clutches
If you want something with a more personal touch, Amusse will be glad to help you - just pick from a range of fabrics and accessories, and they’ll make the cluctch or pouch of your choice for you on the spot.
Adorable knick knacks
From sticker sets to iron-on patches and enamel pins, there’s plenty of cute stuff to covet over at Apoozi Studio’s booth. They also sell environmentally-friendly options that are both cute and functional - now you know where to get a recyclable bag to hold your bubble tea!
Find a new home for your plant pet
Plants are the busy person’s best friend, and they make for wonderfully low-maintenance pets. Bring one home from the night market, with stalls offering a vast array of plants, and various modern-but-cosy holders for your new succulent friend.
At Concrete x Plant, you can choose from a selection of minimalistic-looking plant holders, all made from concrete, an eco-friendly material - so you’re also helping to save the environment, one concrete plant holder at a time.
Jazz up your wardrobe with Ficelle
In a world of statement pieces and chunky jewellery, Ficelle offers a breath of fresh air with more elegant-looking pieces to choose from. Everything is lovingly hand-crafted, which means that each piece is an original - no two look the same.
Clothes for your furkid
Why should you be the only one stepping out of the house in fashionable threads? Your furry friends can do the same too, with crocheted pet clothes and accessories made by Ponsay. Choose from jackets to collars to headwear, and let your fur baby strut their stuff!
Make a wish
No, not the organisation - for $2 you can write your wishes down and attach them to lanterns. Unfortunately, you can’t release the lanterns like you do in Taiwan, but with any luck your wishes will still come true.
Get your fortune told
Your fate lies in the stars, or so we’ve been told - see for yourself with a divination expert peering into your future.
Game the night away at the arcade
What’s Shilin Night Market without its arcade games? With actual Taiwanese arcade staff there to hype up the crowd, it’s as authentic a Taiwanese night market experience you’re gonna get.
Be a human UFO machine
Don’t just play the UFO machine, be the UFO machine.
Get your shoes cleaned
Who says there's no free lunch in the world? Popular Taiwanese shoe-cleaning service Mood is offering complimentary express shoe-cleaning services - all you have to do is swing by, and they’ll be happy to give your tired old sneaks some well-needed TLC.
Sing your heart out
The Taiwanese love karaoke, and so do we! Sing to your heart’s content in the eight solo karaoke booths provided, or join the open mic session if you’re feeling brave. Rates from $4 a song or $15 for 10 minutes.
Catch a movie
Free movie screenings all night long? Yes, please! Relax in a hammock and munch away on the goodies, while watching local and Taiwanese movies screened from 6pm.
Go treasure-hunting for “Black Pearls”
Unleash your inner excavator operator with this game - simply scoop up as many black balls as you can to win a prize.